Cubs

Will Venable is 100 percent committed to Cubs — for now

Will Venable is 100 percent committed to Cubs — for now

Cubs third base coach Will Venable found himself in an interesting spot Saturday morning at Cubs Convention.

During a coaching staff panel, a young fan asked Venable, who interviewed for the Astros managerial opening on Friday, if he’s leaving the Cubs.

Venable’s answer?

“No, I’m not,” he said, drawing a chorus of cheers from the room packed full of Cubs fans.

That is, for now. In a media session following the panel, Venable clarified he’s 100 percent committed to his job with the Cubs, but he’s also taking any potential promotions seriously.

“Obviously you have to take opportunities seriously, you have to think about those things,” Venable said. “I’m a Chicago Cub right now. Until that changes, I’m super excited to be here, committed to this team. Until someone gives me an opportunity to have a different job, this is where I’m at and I plan on being here.”

Friday’s interview marks Venable’s third for a manager job this winter (Cubs, Giants). He declined to talk specifics on his meeting with the Astros, but said he was honored they asked to meet with him. He also called Houston’s recent cheating scandal “pretty significant.”

Despite not securing a managerial gig this winter, Venable realizes he’s gained invaluable experience going through the interview process. He believes he’s a better big-league coach for it.

“Yeah, it’s great. All these opportunities for me, it’s preliminary, I understand that,” he said. “I also understand that it’s a really good opportunity for me to go and talk about baseball, share my ideas and my beliefs and the process to prepare, where I have to define my beliefs and my principles.

“It’s helping me grow as a coach and [it’s] gonna help me be a better coach for the Chicago Cubs. The process has been great and I’m looking forward to using my experience and talking to different baseball people and hearing their ideas and their perspective and applying it to what I do with the Cubs.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Ross-ter Rundown: Can Jon Lester bring it for 1 more year?

lester_thumb.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Ross-ter Rundown: Can Jon Lester bring it for 1 more year?

As the season draws closer, it's time to discuss every player that will be on the final roster on Opening Day. We start with Cubs veteran pitcher Jon Lester.

Jeff Nelson sits in for David Kaplan and is joined by NBCS Cubs writer Tim Stebbins and NBCS producer Nate Poppen to debate if Jon Lester can help stabilize the starting rotation for at least one more season, and where do you place him in the rotation.

(1:37) - One word to describe Jon Lester

(5:42) - Lester didn't start his Cubs career very well

(10:40) - Lester eventually proved why he got the contract

(14:40) - How will the relationship change between Jon Lester and David Ross

(19:00) - Lester's inability to throw to first base

(23:00) - Projections for Lester in the 2020 season

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Cubs reliever Brad Wieck undergoes procedure for irregular heartbeat

brad_wieck_curious_case_slide_photo.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs reliever Brad Wieck undergoes procedure for irregular heartbeat

Cubs reliever Brad Wieck underwent a cardiac ablation procedure on Monday for an abnormal heartbeat, the club announced on Thursday.

Cubs head physician Dr. Stephen Adams discovered an intermittent atrial flutter during Wieck's pre-spring training physical earlier this month. The left-hander returned to Chicago and underwent a procedure on Monday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to prevent a recurrence of the flutter.

Wieck returned to Arizona on Wednesday and will rest for the next week or so. The Cubs will then determine when the 28-year-old will begin his throwing program.

Former Cub Mark DeRosa underwent a similar procedure in spring training 2008 and did not miss the start of the season.

Wieck entered camp as a favorite to claim a job in the Cubs' Opening Day bullpen. He impressed after the club acquired him from the Padres last July, posting a 3.60 ERA in 14 appearances.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device